The Liberal Democrats in Harrogate: Scottish devolution body 'is finished'

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THE SCOTTISH Constitutional Convention, once the focus of cross-party efforts towards devolution, is effectively finished, Jim Wallace, leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, said yesterday, writes Patricia Wynn Davies.

Reading what looked like the death rites at a conference briefing, Mr Wallace called for a broader, more dynamic body to replace the convention, which comprises the Liberal Democrats, Labour, churches and unions.

Since the election it has been in limbo, amid growing suspicions that it would be left to wither away.

In the dreaded words of John Major, all the parties were 'taking stock', Mr Wallace said. 'We have to broaden it out. We need a broader- based body and a mass movement. There's no use having sub-committees discussing the alternative member system.'

There has been concern among Liberal Democrats that the convention's agenda had been dominated by Labour.